Wild Rhododendrons of the Coastal Redwood Forest

In every walk with Nature, one receives far more than he seeks.

~John Muir

This post is a bit different in that I’m breaking it into 2 parts. I’m doing this because my latest photographic goal has proved to be a great learning experience and a reminder that Mother Nature ALWAYS wins in landscape photography. Any photographers out there that follow my blog may pick up a tip or two and those who aren’t photographers will gain some understanding that photography is NOT about the fanciest camera you can afford and going to the best locations on earth.

I have an image in mind. Its a beautiful, mossy forest with towering trees and a faint sun casting diffused light over all that is living. In the empty space between the trees, where plants race to the sky to capture the leftover light, beautiful pink rhododendrons climb the highest and display their perfect pink blossoms. For this you need fog. The sun will illuminate the landscape in evenly distributed light and create spectacular beams that spotlight your foreground. The weather was calling for a few days of rain, then clearing. Being on the coast of the Pacific Ocean helps for fog too!

THIS IS THE COMPOSITION I WANTED(+FOG, -WIND = BAM)

The first day was pouring rain. I got soaked on a morning hike but loved it. My skin is waterproof from living in the NW for years:) I didn’t exactly get the shots I was looking for though since there was no fog. This light was nice though with the rain providing extra saturation and evenly lit skies. The other part of the whole equation is there has to be flowers. I saw a few but nothing spectacular or photogenic.

HIKING IN THE RAIN

Then it cleared to blue skies. Then it got windy. Both of those elements are enemies of the conditions needed for my sought after image! I had a last bit of hope though since the ocean breeze makes the Redwoods notoriously foggy and the extra moisture underneath was sure to help. Mother Nature had other plans though. The wind was blowing offshore which dried the forest, the fog disappeared and many flowers were blown from the branches. Plus, shooting rhododendrons in the wind is next to impossible.

Sooooo…..I didn’t ever get the shot I was looking for and the weather is holding steady. The good news is they’ll bloom next year:)

The second part of this post (much shorter) are some images that I did find. I’m not claiming excellence on any one of them but I wanted to show that even without getting the image I wanted, I’m more than happy with my time in the Redwoods of California. For a sense of scale for all the images posted, find me in the last image. Life is amazing!!!!!

I WAS HOPING THIS WAS IN BLOOM!

NEED MORE FLOWERS!

LOVELY TRAIL TO WALK

NICE LOOKING FOREST:)

MORE NICE FOREST

WHAT I’M DOING NOW INSTEAD:)

FIND ME, WIN PRIZE.
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18 thoughts on “Wild Rhododendrons of the Coastal Redwood Forest

  1. Knock down, no doubt gorgeous! So appreciative of the quiet Soul behind the lens that captured what Nature put there (no matter whether we were there to see it or not)…but you were.
    Keep on keepin on. Dan

    PS: I spy Eric standing on the fallen tree (lower 2/3/frame center).

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  2. Hi Eric. You are doing some great work (at least from my perspective). I’m so glad you have the opportunity to do this. Stay safe. Love ya — Aunt Colleen

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  3. Like the images.

    2nd one from the top is my favorite on the page. I got to the point where I like Rhododendrons photographed both foggy and clear days. But I think so few people focus on how to get good clear day photos of them, that few good examples are found online. Even single blossoms look beautiful.

    Cheers,

    M. D. Vaden / http://www.mdvaden.com/redwoods.shtml

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